I READ news reports that Governor Lilia Pineda wants the National Government to revert the administration and management of the Mt. Arayat National Park to the Capitol.
Arayat Mayor Chito Espino, in another item, expressed his desire to acquire similar control and official jurisdiction over the Park.
There appears to be a looming conflict in the interest of both parties to manage and develop the former mountain resort and top scenic spot in the province.
Espino feels that his municipality has a priority right over the Park and, therefore, wants to regain its operational control return to the local government.
In the same situation City Mayor Oscar Rodriquez of San Fernando who wants the Paskuhan Village so-called to be put under the supervision and management of his city.
The two mayors are empowered by their presumptive "rights" to the two assets which in fact are owned by the national government. Based on actual territorial jurisdiction, it is logical that Rodriguez has priority preference in taking over the Paskuhan and Espino, the Mt. Arayat National Park.
The issue here, however, is not what party has lawful jurisdiction and rights over the two facilities, but who has the capabilities in undertaking long-term, sustainable development of the two juridical properties.
I doubt if Espino and the mayors before him have a record in development of enterprise capacity, much less a Tourism Development Plan for the Park.
The Paskuhan Village, on the other hand, can become a banner project for Rodriguez whose brand of leadership and governance brought honors to his city.
Oca, however, is on his third and last term, and doubts will arise and persist if his successor can continue, promote, and execute the mayor's own development plan for the Paskuhan.
As of the present, the city mayor has his plate full of ongoing projects, including the Sagip Ilog, a comprehensive educational program, and other ambitious enterprises for "excellence in human habitat."
If Oca's successor may happen to be Vice Mayor Edwin Santiago or veteran politician Tiger Lagman, either one of the two would have to start from ground zero. If Rey Aquino makes a successful comeback, the Paskuhan project is the least of his priorities as shown during his term.
What will happen if Oca will no longer be city mayor and the Paskuhan development requires a determined and purposive action, as only Oca can strongly initiate?
In like spirit, Espino will be handicapped not only by the town's meager financial resources along its limited capacity to reinvent and promote the tourist spot. He has yet to build a record for enterprise development and capacity building in national networking.
If Mayor Oca were not on his last term, concededly the Paskuhan can be developed to its desired status as a tourist destination. Oca is known for his sustained passion for projects close to his heart.
I submit, therefore, that the Provincial Government, with Governor Pineda's extraordinary ability to move things and people, should get both the Park and the Paskuhan under Pampanga's control and administration.
Pampanga earns at least P1 million daily for quarry collections. San Fernando and Arayat do not have this bounty for the long-term maintenance of the Park or Paskuhan.
Espino, if he has vision enough, should give up his dream of running and developing the Park. I can not say this same succinctly and in certainty with Mayor Oca. He is very close to President Aquino. Who knows he might get full funding and logistical support to create a marvelous landmark out of Paskuhan.
There is no underestimating the potentials of Rodriquez. Supposing he runs for governor and if luck favors him, he would still have another three years of fruitful and productive relations with President Noy.
The Arayat Park, if reverted to the Provincial Government, will certainly be transformed into a decent and attractive tourist destination. With pork barrel support from our lawmakers - Dong Gonzales and his godmother GMA, wondrous things may happen to make it as Pampanga's top attraction in the coming years.
The chief problem of the Park, which is the lack of logistical support, can be addressed by Nanay Baby. With her expanded resources in big business support and growing revenues, the Park will be advantaged in extensive marketing and promotion, in planning and development of tour groups, as well as increased revenue generation.
For both the Paskuhan and the Park, the Pineda administration with its excess revenues can sustain a development plan for each one, respectively.
It has the advantage, too, of the full cooperation and support of all the mayors, and the private sector. The Pamcham for one is now a partner of Governor Pineda in her programs and is willing to provide doable master plan to harmonize resource, infrastructure building, while promoting volunteerism as a collateral agenda, according to LPL.
Levy Laus, Kapampangan business icon, is the lead pillar in Nanay Baby's covenant with citizen support for her successful governance.